NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
It’s about time all kids of all abilities can swing, jump and play with their family and friends.
New Jersey’s new “Field of Dreams” complex has officially opened to serve kids of all abilities, with wheelchair accessible activities and plenty of space — the first of its kind in the U.S.
The 3.5-acre facility — which features a playground with swings, trampolines, slides and a zipline, as well as a baseball field, basketball court and a mini golf course — was explored in detail during a “Fox and Friends First” segment on Monday.
N.J. AUTISTIC TEEN AND HIS MOM COULD NOT GET HOME FROM ARUBA FOR 3 WEEKS
RWJBaranabas Health Field of Dreams in Toms River was first developed by New Jersey math teacher Christian Kane. The project took five years of development and needed to raise $3.6 million to fund it.
Kane and his wife, Mary, felt compelled to bring the concept to life as the parents of a disabled child.
On July 12, 2012, Kane and his son, Gavin, were making a left-hand turn into the Toms River North High School when they were hit by a fully loaded beer truck.
The accident left young Gavin with severe brain injuries that destroyed his ability to walk and speak.
“What happened to Gav wasn’t fair,” his father told Fox News’ Rachel Campos-Duffy.
“And my wife and I just thought it wasn’t right that just because you have a limited ability that you can’t participate with others.”
“It’s not right, so we took it upon ourselves.”
Kane was sure to include different kinds of equipment, such as swings to cater to specific needs, as well as nonverbal communication boards, wheelchair charging stations and a quiet area on the grounds for kids with autism.
NJ MATH TEACHER, WIFE BUILDS NATION’S FIRST SPORTS COMPLEX FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
“When you go to a typical playground, a lot of the items really aren’t fully equipped for people that have special needs,” Kane said.
“And that’s what this complex is all about — creating these experiences and memories for these families in one place.”
Kane added that people who are typical-functioning “take things for granted,” and don’t realize how “important” the “little things in life” truly are.
Wendy Strand, the mother of disabled 17-year-old Amaya, shared how her daughter feels like she “belongs” at a complex like “Field of Dreams.”
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER
“It’s amazing,” Amaya said. “Just to see the things I couldn’t do before and could do now.”
Fox News’ own Rachel Campos-Duffy took her young daughter, Valentina, to experience the playground and gave kudos to Kane for his “incredible” inclusivity.
“As a mom with a child with special needs, I can’t tell you how incredible I think you are,” she said.
As of now, the Kanes still owe $300,000 to pay off this project and are accepting donations at RWJBHFieldOfDreams.com.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Fox News’ Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.